Digital technology is extending human capabilities. Smart phones, cloud-based computing and wearable peripherals are just a few of the tools that are putting entirely new possibilities at our fingertips. Today, another remarkable advance is upon us. It is called the hospital “Smart Room.” Initially pioneered by IBM and the University of Pittsburg Medical Center, this IT joint venture is enhancing the delivery of healthcare in amazing ways
A Smart Room is a medical environment in a hospital that utilizes interactive touch screens, ultrasound badges, mobile tracking and other technologies to make patient data and Electronic Medical Records readily available to care providers.
Imagine, for instance, a physician wearing an ultrasound badge. He is digitally tracked as he makes his rounds. As he enters each patient’s room, the pertinent case history and medical data is automatically made available on the doctor’s smart phone, tablet, telemedicine cart or a computer monitor. At a glance, the physician can see the patient’s case history, vital signs, medication and their treatment regimen. Furthermore, the Smart Room can distinguish between physicians, nurses and other staff; each is given the data or instructions they require to fulfill their functions as they treat or serve their patients.
Smart Boards are another technological advance hospitals are turning to. Traditionally, care facilities have utilized erasable dry boards and whiteboards to organize schedules, display patient data and other important information. Today however, static boards with post-it notes and hand-written instruction are being replaced with interactive touch screens that are integrated with an institution’s medical database. As a result, health providers have quick and easy access to the most comprehensive and up-to-date medical information available.
Smart Boards allow doctors and nurses to check off boxes on a touch screen rather than type or write information down manually. Consequently, workflow is improved as clinicians can spend more time with their patients and less time documenting the care administered. Caregivers can also be alerted to medical protocols or checklists that need to be followed.
Advanced technology improves caregiver efficiency, cuts down on paperwork and helps prevent medical errors. Undoubtedly, this is good for providers, hospitals and patients. But these high-tech tools have another sometimes overlooked benefit: cutting-edge systems can help hospitals attract the best and brightest. As Jim Hatcher, chief technology officer at Human Circuit notes, “AV technology and telemedicine will attract talent and ultimately improve the bottom line.”
Digital technology is taking healthcare to new levels. Smart Rooms include features that help providers prioritize their tasks and analytics that let caregivers and administrators know if the hospital staff is meeting their responsibilities in a timely fashion. For instance, Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington, is using mobile tracking to pinpoint staff, predict their responsibilities and ping reminders ahead of time. Patients, too, are seeing tangible benefits. They can use smart boards and touch screens to keep abreast of upcoming treatment procedures, see caregiver schedules and to access educational media. In sum, Smart Rooms and smart boards represent a quantum leap in health care.
About Bob Higginbotham
Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org